Sightlines Initiative

promoting creative and reflective practice in early childhood education


Conferences & Seminars

(including Reggio Study visits)

Reggio Approach E-Learning

Seminars: 10% discounts for Network Members & Newslist subscribers
Digital Learning Toolbox: 15% discounts for Network Members & Newslist subscribers

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Events Archive


                    ... to our programme for 2022.

We are just beginning to make plans in this likely very fluid year - we are looking optimistically however at possibilities.

If you are interested in discussing bespoke professional development possibilities for your centre please get in touch: via the above email.

Go HERE if you want to read about past events, presentations seminars.


Focus Group: Doing Education amidst covid 19

(Images: Adobe Stock/Illustration: Patrick Bibbins, Boston Children’s Hospital)

Since the inception of Sightlines Initiative in in 1997 we have been working, through professional projects, research andexchanges, to advocate creative and reflective early childhood pedagogy. 

In the context of the Covid 19 pandemic, how can we ‘do school’; build educational environments where children's learning flourishes?

There are clearly many challenges: 

  • the conservative UK building size norms have resulted in small classrooms and centres with large group sizes, right across the age span. However spaciousness is called for to support social distancing.
  • Can we have co-constructive learning  and do social distancing?
  • In non-statutory (early childhood) education and daycare, how can staffing and budgetary stability be achieved?
  • What children are overtly missing most is sociability and sociable enquiry:
  • Our framework for developing pedagogy is founded upon building learning environments of ENCOUNTER, ENQUIRY, EXCHANGE, EXPRESSION ... can the circle be squared?

We are hosting three online discussion groups – on 21st, 26th and 28th May (all 2 - 3.30 pm) for UK Heads, Managers, Class Teachers, governors who are faced with these questions, are dedicated to developing co-constructive education, and who want to exchange situations and ideas. 

The maximum size will be 16 in order to maximise exchange. 

Update - these sessions have filled up quickly and we may offer more. If you are interested in this, please add your name to the Waiting List on the Thursday 28th date.

Please Note: Dates: 21st, 26th, 28th May
Times 2 - 3.30 p.m.
Location/Map online

Patricia Daly-Lipe  “Myth, Magic and Metaphor”
Metaphor is a festive intuition, a sudden explosion, a form of thought that enlights the way our mind works when it crosses and broadens its field of knowledge. During the seminar we will use what is known, daily perceptions around us, to reach, touch, feel what we still don’t know. We will communicate new discoveries lying in the new territory of metaphors where words are spells which bring us closer as human beings.

We will explore how the process of creating metaphors leads to unusual, unexpected and original procedures and perspectives. We will try out how this is an attitude of investigation and participation in reality, which pushes us to open up and expand canonical boundaries.

The seminar will also encourage to ride paradoxes, as children usually do to research the world around and interact with adults, jumping from an uncoscious to a conscious process in everyday life. We will see how games, transformation hypotheses, paradoxes, find their opportunity to develop through conjunction / relationship with another subject and new relationships / visions, in a word, through metaphors.

This seminar is designed to inform the current Sightlines Initiative early childhood pedagogy action-research project into Visual Metaphor. It is free to Sightlines Initiative subscribers.

It will also be pertinent to all who are interested in the ways in which adults tune in to young children’s thinking and learning.


Viviana Fiorentino was born and grew up in southern Italy. After achieving her Doctorate, travelled across Europe, from Switzerland to Germany, England and finally Belfast where she now lives, writing novels and poetry, teaching Italian literature, and leading creative writing workshops for cultural minorities.
In 2018, she was awarded two Italian poetry prizes. Her poems have appeared in literature blogs and international magazines. A selection of her poems is published in ‘Writing Home: the New Irish poets’. In 2019, she published a poetry collection in Italy and her first novel.
She has been involved in many different festivals, poetry readings and projects, such as the 2019. ‘Sky, you are too big’, which revolved around the themes of travelling, migration and displacement.
She is in the editorial staff of Carteggi Letterari (Italian periodical Lit magazine) with the column ‘Neither here, nor there’ and she periodically writes for the magazine TerreLibere about migration and politics.

Date Wednesday 13th May 2020
Cut off date Tuesday 12th May 2020
Price £35
Member Discount 100%
Presenters Viviana Fiorentino
Please Note: This is an online seminar conducted via Zoom. You will need to have appropriate hardware ready. We will email registrants a link on the morning of the 13th.
Times 2 - 3.30 p.m.
Location/Map online

We are no longer accepting registration for this event

Sunday 15th - Friday 20th March 2020
Loris Malaguzzi International Centre, Reggio Emilia, Italy.

A one-week study visit to learn about and be inspired by the world renowned educational approach of the preschools and infant toddler centres of Reggio Emilia.

This course will explore the key principles underpinning the Reggio approach to early childhood education including:

- History and background
- Creativity and expressive languages of children
- The pedagogy of listening
- The environment as 'the third teacher'
- Parents as partners
- Democratic citizenship
- Children as the subjects of rights
- Children and educators as researchers
- Observation, interpretation, documentation
- Making learning visible
- Professional dialogue

Read more on how you will receive our help and support before, during and after the study week.

Date Sunday 15th March 2020
Cut off date Friday 21st February 2020
Price £1,560
Location/Map Reggio Emilia, Italy
Download info Reggio Emilia Study Week 2020.pdf

We are no longer accepting registration for this event

identitypic VM London Network

This network meeting is for Sightlines members involved in the London ReFocus ‘Visual Metaphor’ project. This project focuses on noticing children’s thinking processes and deepening children’s learning through collaborative reflection and enquiry.

Places are free for Sightlines members, and are open to those who attended the London ReFocus project launch on 23rdJanuary 2020 (you will have a password from the steering group.)

Room 790, UCL Institute of Education

For further information, contact:

Kate Cowan This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Solveig Morris This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Joy Dahl This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Date Thursday 5th March 2020
Available places 18
Please Note: LOGIN module is in the green column, page left.
Times 4.30 - 6
Location/Map Institute of Education, London

Please login as a subscriber first in order to register

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This second day of our weekend with Tiziana Filippini, pedagogista of Reggio Emilia, will focus, seminar-style, on exploring Network subscribers’ issues in the development of their educational practice.

We invite discussion of key questions (tabled in advance, so that we can prepare together.)

We will also discuss aspects of the 2019 Network new project focus 'Working with Visual Metaphor, ' to give a strong start to this exciting project.

Date Sunday 10th November 2019
Price £150
Times 10 - 3.30
Location/Map Institute of Education, London

Please login as a subscriber first in order to register

An in-depth encounter with Tiziana Filippini, Reggio Emilia pedagogista and consultant.

MLV72collecton"Ideas fly, bounce around, accumulate, rise up, fall apart slowly, or spread, until finally one of them takes a decisive hold; it flies higher and conquers the entire group of children.” Loris Malaguzzi: from 'Daily Life at School: Seeing the Extraordinary in the Ordinary.' Making Learning Visible page 72

This day will be an unparallelled opportunity to engage directly with a  representative of Reggio who has such long-term and deep experience, and is ready to dialogue and debate in English. Be inspired by what is desirable and possible in early childhood education.

Tiziana is a passionate, strong advocate of Reggio's Approach and knowledge - she has been a core part of the work of the schools since 1978: In particular, Tiziana was the long-standing pedagogista of the famous Diana Preschool, which came to the world’s attention when it was featured by Newsweek in 1991 as one of the 10 best schools in the world. She has engaged in international numerous international dialogues, often accompanying Loris Malaguzzi on research and lecture tours to Sweden and Denmark, and was a member of the research team  of the acclaimed reference work Making Learning Visible.

Here is a short extract 'learning in relationship' from her  2013 talk, also in London at IoE.

Sunday 10th November will be a seminar day for Sightlines Initiative Network participant settings to work in dialogue with Ms. Filippini . (see separate registration.)

Date Saturday 9th November 2019
Price £195
Student Discount please enquire regarding undergraduate student discount
Member Discount £15
Times 9.30 - 3.30
Location/Map Institute of Education, London

We are no longer accepting registration for this event

During the school year 2019 -20 we have arranged three dates in which you can visit Madeley Nursery School in Spring 2019 and encounter theirs, and Sightlines Initiative Network's, principles in practice. 

Participation is limited to 8 on each occasion.

documentation and displaydocumentation displayed"We are a Reggio inspired school with a beautiful learning environment and exciting child led curriculum. As a research school, we are involved in many national and international projects linked to early learning. Our aim is to create 'a community of learning where there are endless opportunities to discover together through curiosity, creativity and play."

Madeley Nursery School in Telford are keen participants in Sightlines' Network since 2000. This day  is designed for those wanting to explore the possible ways of practicing the principles of an environment of enquiry, and engage in dialogue with a committed staff group who are making keen endeavours to explore and develop their own practice. 

The day will begin promptly at 9a.m. at the Nursery, with an introduction followed by time to observe in the morning. After lunch there will be opportunities for discussion, and at the close of the school day, general discussion with staff. We will explore how the principles of Sightlines Initiative can be developed in your daily practice; the influences and insprations from Reggio, and the inevitable challenges. 

Click the button 'Choose Dates & Location' for further details and to book (there are Not multiple locations, in this case!)

Price £160
Member Discount 10%
Please Note:

DATES (Mondays)

14th October 2019

3rd February 2020

11th May 2020

Times 9 a.m - 4 p.m.
Location/Map Madeley, Telford


London ReFocus Open Meeting

Continuing our theme ‘Curious Adults, Curious Children’, This open meeting will give a further chance to hear different perspectives on democracy in early childhood education, both in theory and practice focusing on:

  • What is democracy?
  • How can democracy manifest itself in early childhood education?

Diana will share theory and research by using the voices and different perspectives of educators on the necessary conditions for democratic practices in the early years.

Cath with Nisha will share Rowland Hill’s project: ‘Framing the learning: a democratic exploration using photography and film with young children and their families ’.

As Carlina Rinaldi states in ‘In Dialogue with Reggio Emilia’
“…we must not forget how closely the school is related to the society in which it is situated’. ‘There is the recurring question of whether the school is limited to transmitting culture or can be (aspire to) a place where culture is constructed and democracy is lived”.

Date Thursday 20th June 2019
Price £10
Presenters Cath Rive (artist) with Nisha Lingam (Headteacher of Rowland Hill Nursery School) and Diana Sousa (UCL Institute of Education).
Please Note:

How to get to the meeting
Recommended journey: Wood Green Underground (Piccadilly Line) and bus W3 to White Hart Lane (bus stop Rowland Hill Avenue).

Early booking recommended as places are limited.

Times Arrive 4:30pm for 4.45pm start, with tour of the nursery from 6.15pm approx.
Location/Map Tottenham, London

We are no longer accepting registration for this event